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TVJ Climate Change Feature

Written by Danielle Mullings

Climate change has become a more pressing concern in the Caribbean and communities across Jamaica. One of our local television stations, TVJ has produced four features shedding light on the situation and the community response.

The features speak on the reality of climate change in the Caribbean evidenced by the coastal erosion of Hellshire and Hurricane Maria as well as the plans of community members in Manchester to use artificial reefs to decrease coastal erosion. The videos are below:

Caribbean Sports with European Heritage

Written by Danielle Mullings

From the ‘point of contact’ in 1492, European cultural institutions have impacted Caribbean society and culture. The remains of colonization by major powers like the Dutch, British, Spanish and French continue to impact today’s Caribbean society. Today their impact continues mainly through trade, education and mass media.

Sports is a cornerstone of our day to day lives that has evolved from European origins. Sports from Europe include horse racing, cricket, football, tennis, rugby and netball. Slaves would have been introduced to and adopted these sports from Europeans during pre-independence but it is still predominant with the Caribbean society in post-independence. The majority of these sports are taught to Caribbean children from a very young age during physical education classes or socializing with friends. Many communities in Jamaica have the “Sunday ball game” in which the males of the community come together to play football. Additionally one can not downplay the popularity of horse racing and betting. Jamaica has built its own racing track called Caymanas and now has a solid industry in horse rearing in rural parishes like St. Elizabeth. Sports may also be popular in the Caribbean as there are more opportunities for scholarships, medalling, and earning money from the European sports internationally. These European sports also allow Caribbean people to participate in international events like the World Cup and the Olympics.

 

Written by Danielle Mullings

Video – Places to Go in St. Elizabeth

Done by: Danielle Mullings

Opportunities for Youth in Jamaica

Written by: Danielle Mullings

As the years go by volunteerism, summer camps and internship experiences become increasingly important for Jamaican youth.

Here are some programs that you can consider:

Advocacy
JYAN – Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network
Talk Up Yout
Girls Who Know
U-Report

Visual & Performing Arts
JANN – Jamaica Animation Nation Network
Kingston Toon Fest
JAFTA – Jamaica Film & Television Association
GATFFEST – Annual Film Festival
CPTC MTI (Classes)
ICreate (Classes)
Edna Manley – Summer Dance, Visual Arts & Drama Classes
National Art Gallery – Art Programs (Usually in January and Summer)

Engineering, Computer Science & Technology
SPISE = Student Program for Innovation in Science & Engineering
Pre-UWI Engineering Camp
Youth Can Do IT
Microsoft Digi Girlz High Tech Camp
Google Computer Science Summer Institute
Coders of The Caribbean Hackathon put on by Next Gen Creators
Women in ICT Hackathon
Diamond Challenge

Mixed Program – Dream Jamaica Summer Program (offers SAT prep & internships)

Outreach and Service
Outreach Outlet
Operation Help the People
Feeding of the 5000
Positive.org
Plant Jamaica

Volunteer Programmes
JSPCA – Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Hope Zoo
SRC Science Fair
Hospitals – UWI, Apex, Medial Associates or Bustamante

Job Placement
National Youth Service
HEART Trust NTA

Writing
The Gleaner’s Youthlink
The Observer’s TeenAge
There are other magazines and publications if you research.

Online Courses
Harvard edX, Coursera or Alison
(Offer classes in a wide range of subjects from programming to leadership and critical thinking)

Special Tip: Though companies may have formal internship/volunteer programs, it doesn’t hurt to approach institutions independently asking to help.

Youth Can Do IT – Lianne McNaughton

Written by: Danielle Mullings

Youth Can Do IT diminishes doubt in your creative self, opens a world of creativity and belief in ventures which you didn’t know you possessed. – Amanda Johnson, mentee

Since it’s establishment in 2016 by Jamaican Lianne McNaughton, Youth Can Do IT has accomplished a considerable amount of work. The organization seeks to use technology and strengths based initiatives to empower Jamaica’s youth as it is said to be “born out of the desire to use technology and self-actualization as the catalyst for capacity building among youth“.

YCDI has started a few programs to develop young Jamaicans ranging from serving over 200 youth in workshops to their one year pilot – Women In IT Mentorship Program. This program commenced on International Girls in ICT Day and saw thirty one girls from over ten schools paired with thirty one prominent women in IT for the duration of the year.

My experience so far in the program has been absolutely amazing! It is so wonderful to be able to see girls supporting each other. – Isheba cornwall, mentee

The program has exposed the girls to various technological concepts such as WordPress website creation, social media management and Google Analytics. The founder believes that the answer to the lack of women in the IT industry lies in giving girls role models, teaching them the requisite skills, encouraging them and then showing them how tech careers can help change the world for the better. “By 2030, women can, and will, be critical to leveraging this revolution to benefit our global society,” says Lianne McNaughton.

YCDI teaches youth to see themselves as content creators by equipping them with the right skills and tools to turn dreams into reality.

This is the first feature on Emerging Initiatives and Youth Leaders.

Business Intelligence

Written by: Danielle Mullings

diG Jamaica sat down with Raquel Seville, the CEO of B.I. Brainz (Caribbean), to get more insight into what Business Intelligence is. This is a growing field in Jamaica heavily utilized by companies like Digicel.

“Business Intelligence takes the guess work out of decision making. BETTER DECISIONS = BETTER QUALITY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES.” – Raquel Seville

It’s a fancy way of referring to the goal of getting actionable insights from company data. Essentially, the data should support some kind of decision making in the end. This type of intelligence helps persons to make decisions that are supported by fact and not fiction. Would you rather make an informed decision based on hard figures or one that is based on feeling?

Making decisions based on actual findings would effectively allow manufacturers to improve their marketing agendas and make better more useful and cost effective products. A company of note mentioned by Raquel was Digicel.

“A lot of the initiatives that companies are able to push is due to analysis of customer trends and target customers. This impacts how you market to them and how to appeal to a certain demographic.” – Raquel Seville

Business Intelligence tools vary widely and as such have a very broad spectrum. There are data specific tools , process specific tools , database repository tools and finally presentation tools. Presentation tools remain the most popular aspect of business intelligence. This may be due to it being used to explain trends to stakeholders.

Examples of BI Tools:

  • Data Specific Tools – This uses extraction transformed load tools (ETL) Informatica
  • Database Tools – Microsoft, Oracle, MySQL & Hadoo (which is designed for big data, more unstructured).
  • Presentation Tools – PowerBI, TaBleau , SAP BI tools, Qlik

Film & Technology

Written by: Danielle Mullings

 

“The film industry brings people together, and so does technology. I see them as similar platforms.”
– Ashton Kutcher

Computer science (and technology in general) can be mixed with most if not all fields of interest. The entire world is moving towards technological advancements and integrations. One such mixed field is that of film and computer science. How do they relate you may ask? Here’s how!

Editing Suites
An essential part of any film is the editing done in post production. One has to use software to perfect video transitions, colour balance, lighting etc. This is a crucial part of making any camera work look exactly as intended and visually compelling. Post production software is developed and created by software engineers. What better way to create software fitted for cinematographers than to be a cinematographer yourself? This would also extend to photo editing software.

DSLR Camera Operating Systems
Though most may not realize, a camera is basically a mini – computer. It has its own firmware, ROM, processor, input, output, secondary storage devices etc. For any good computer to work it must have a solid operating system that can manage the various tasks required of the device in an efficient manner. Therefore, the camera will demand the same type of software. Again, software engineers would be more than welcomed here.

Facial Recognition
Think of a spy movie or real life crime cases: a bandit was in an area caught on camera and the police need to identify him. What do they draw for? Cameras and facial recognition software! This software can also implemented on a more small scale like unlocking a phone with bio-metrics but once again, software engineers are needed to help use photographic material (input) to create the desired output or inform decision making processes. Film and tech goes hand in hand once more!

There are many more examples such as 3D Printing and Image sensors but this should shed some light on the cross section between camera related fields such as film and technology.

World Mental Health Day 2018

Written by: Danielle Mullings

On October 10th of each year, World Mental Health Day is celebrated. This year’s theme is ‘Young People and Mental Health in A Changing World’.

World Mental Health Day allows stakeholders to come together and decide on ways to mitigate the effects of mental health illnesses. The topic has been gaining traction recently as there has been an influx of articles in local publications around youth mental health such as Dr Christopher Tufton | Time To Commit To Mental HealthMental Meltdown: Youth Under Siege, and J’cans Don’t Kill Themselves’ – Hickling Downplays U-Report Poll In Which More Than 500 Jamaican Youths Said That They Have Considered Suicide.

Here is an excerpt from the World Health Organization’s website explaining why the theme was chosen for this year:

“Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time of life when many changes occur, for example changing schools, leaving home, and starting university or a new job. For many, these are exciting times. They can also be times of stress and apprehension however. In some cases, if not recognized and managed, these feelings can lead to mental illness. The expanding use of online technologies, while undoubtedly bringing many benefits, can also bring additional pressures, as connectivity to virtual networks at any time of the day and night grows. Many adolescents are also living in areas affected by humanitarian emergencies such as conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics. Young people living in situations such as these are particularly vulnerable to mental distress and illness.”

 

Read more about Mental Health here: https://www.moh.gov.jm/divisions-agencies/divisions/mental-health-unit/

 

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Too early to tell Ja Moves success
  2. Gleaner ombudsman want to hear from readers
  3. Health Ministry strong on sugary drinks message
  4. Second cohort of HPV vaccines being administered
  5. Chucky Brown trial continues
  6. Guns issued in breach of FLA protocol still out there

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton (second right)

1. Too early to tell Ja Moves success

Indicating that it was too early to determine the success of the popular Jamaica Moves Campaign, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton believes the message has reached most if not all Jamaicans. The ministry has been taking the message of the importance of physical activity around the island, through its Jamaica Moves Campaign, in a bid to tackle non-communicable diseases. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Gleaner ombudsman wants to hear from readers

Retired High Court judge, Justice Roy Anderson, who serves as The Gleaner‘s Ombudsman, has indicated that only a few people have so far utilised the avenue made possible for them to have a voice in keeping the publication on its toes since he assumed the role in April. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Health Ministry strong on sugary drinks message

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is refusing to tweak the message in his ministry’s current campaign, which strongly discourages citizens from consuming excess sugar. Last week, Professor Errol Morrison, honorary president of the Diabetes Association, questioned the clarity of the message during an interview on RJR’s ‘Beyond the Headlines’.  See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. Second cohort of HPV vaccines being administered

The second cohort of grade seven girls is now benefiting from the Ministry of Health’s Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination programme. The move is a proactive measure by the Government to protect girls against cervical cancer, which takes the lives of hundreds of women in the country per year and hundreds of thousands more worldwide. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. Chucky Brown trial continues

A high-ranking official at the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) this morning testified that murder accused police Constable Collis ‘Chucky’ Brown admitted to him that he was a part of a ‘special’ police squad. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Guns issued in breach of FLA protocol still out there

The Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) has indicated that more than 100 guns for which licences were issued in breach of protocols remain in the hands of individuals. And Chief Executive Officer Shane Dalling said the number is going up as assessments continue. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

 

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Commish backs Chang
  2. Ja diaspora upset about crime
  3. More Corporate Areas to be dug up
  4. More J’can women doing double mastectomy
  5. Soldier held with illegal gun
  6. 5.2 quake rocks Haiti

1. Commish backs Chang

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang has been backed by Police Commissioner Major Antony Anderson, who, too, is adamant that change must come to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) if the issues of crime and violence are to be brought under control. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Ja diaspora upset about crime

A leading voice in the Jamaican diaspora has fired back at government Senator Kerensia Morrison, pointing out that the shipment of guns and ammunition found at the wharf in Kingston last week is not a reflection of all Jamaicans living overseas. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. More Corporate Area to be dug up

Motorists in the Corporate Area should expect to face more inconveniences as the National Water Commission (NWC) says that more roads are to be dug up to lay pipes in furtherance of the state company’s Non-Revenue Water Reduction (NRW) Project. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. More J’can women doing double mastectomy

More Jamaican women are opting to undergo a double mastectomy as a precautionary measure against breast cancer, a growing trend as a result of the ‘Angelina Jolie Effect’, one local expert has suggested. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. Soldier held with illegal gun

A Jamaica Defence Force soldier was arrested yesterday after he was allegedly held with an illegal firearm and several rounds of ammunition. The Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) has confirmed the incident, which reportedly occurred in Spanish Town, St Catherine. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. 5.2 quake rocks Haiti

The US Geological Survey (USGS) says a 5.2 magnitude aftershock rattled northern Haiti, a day after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake left at least 12 dead and 188 injured at the same location. The USGS says the aftershock’s epicentre was located 15.8 kilometres (9.8 miles) north-northwest of Port-de-Paix and had a depth of 10 kilometres. It struck at about 3 p.m. local time on Sunday. See full story on The Gleaner’s website

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